"enamored with attaining and remaining in power"

Ed Florack has a brilliant essay at PJM, which goes a long way towards explaining what's wrong with the Republican Party:

While conservatives and libertarians make up the majority of the GOP, they don't make up even half of the leadership. The rank and file are interested in principles of conservatism and libertarianism. They want to see those principles applied to governing. The GOP leadership has no interest anymore in such matters, being more enamored with attaining and remaining in power. Those principles are just standing in their way.
And this (from William F. Buckley):
The profound crisis of our era is, in essence, the conflict between the Social Engineers, who seek to adjust mankind to conform with scientific utopias, and the disciples of Truth, who defend the organic moral order. We believe that truth is neither arrived at nor illuminated by monitoring election results, binding though these are for other purposes, but by other means, including a study of human experience. On this point we are, without reservations, on the conservative side.
Read it all.

It is interesting how much conservatives and libertarians happen to agree with each other on the problem with the GOP.

Now if they could just agree to disagree on the rest, some progress might be made towards something resembling unity. It never ceases to amaze me how much strife there is over social issues which aren't within the federal purview anyway.

Were I in the so-called "GOP leadership," I'd do everything in my power to keep these disagreements festering, and if they'll never be solved by the federal government, so much the better!

posted by Eric on 04.27.09 at 12:14 PM










Comments

IMO the problem with the GOP is not who they elect but who they re-elect.

Incumbents are seldom ousted. It happens but it is a poor bet. The first time office holder has usually ran for an open seat.

The surest bet about those elected is that they will quickly decide that nothing matters as much as staying in office.

It is normally quite pleasant there. Especially in the US Congress. Your family wants stability. You are important.

And the statistics are undeniable; the surest way to be re-elected is to offend few, coddle the media, and avoid accountability. And have lots of campaign money. So that is what first time office holders learn.

There are two sayings that come to mind. The first is the justification of the office holder. The second I will leave to the reader to interpret.

First: sine qua non.
"you can't make a difference if you aren't there" is used to justify breaking campaign promises, abandoning principles, and other unsavory efforts to be re-elected.

Second: "you won't make a difference if you won't take a risk."

K   ·  April 27, 2009 3:56 PM

It is true that MOST of the social issue stuff is not in the federal purview. But some of it is: federal funding of abortion; federal regulation of it on federal lands (military bases, mostly); DOMA. Most critically, since judges are now superlegislators: who goes on the bench if Obama ever allows another honest presidential election.

Clayton E. Cramer   ·  April 28, 2009 11:28 AM

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